Twenty-three players turn out for first varsity practice |

Twenty-three players turn out for first varsity practice

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

A record fell on South Tahoe’s first day of varsity football practice, but the new mark isn’t one the Vikings will brag about.

Nearly one-third of the Vikings’ 23-member squad threw up during the course of conditioning drills during Thursday morning’s practice session.

“That’s a record for me … to have seven guys puking. I’ve never seen that,” said co-head coach Chris Morgan.

Thirteen-year running backs coach Bill Tinlin said the conditioning drills the players went through were much easier than what the successful teams of the early 1990s experienced. But Tinlin was pleased to see the turnout for the team only two days after second-year coach Eric Beavers resigned under protest.

“I didn’t think we’d have 10 show up,” Tinlin said. “I just hope the number increases and or stays the same. Because 13 years ago in ’91 we played with 17 in the final game, and a couple of those even got hurt during our practice down in Vegas and we played with 15.

“We’re going to try and pat them on the back as much as we can.”

Adam Fountain, a member of a small junior class required to play on the varsity team, was shocked to see the turnout exceed the off-season numbers in the weight room.

“I thought the kids who showed up to weight lift would be the only ones here, but a lot more than we expected turned out,” he said.

Their rewards on this hot August morning were to see how many situps they could do in 60 seconds, how fast they could run the “Viking Mile” in quarter-mile increments with 4 minutes rest between each one and finally, their maximum on the dip bars.

Those tests left many of the Vikings gasping for air and losing their cookies — as Tinlin put it — but not complaining.

“Two-a-days are supposed to be hard,” Fountain said. “You want them to be hard because if they’re not hard, you won’t be in condition for the season. You want to be the best you can be.”

That attitude was lacking last season when half of the varsity squad quit before the 0-9 campaign ended.

“So far they’ve done everything we’ve asked,” Morgan said. “There’s been no griping. We saw guys puking, but they weren’t complaining about, “Oh, my god, this sucks.” None of that.

“There here to play football, and I’m here to coach football, and we’re ready to go.”

To make it to the field after the turmoil the program has been in only days before practice started is a relief for Morgan.

“It’s fun now,” Morgan said. “The coaching part takes over and that’s where you can get out on the field and everything else just kind of disappears.”

Morgan, a Viking football player during the 1980s, is thankful that losing one staff member hasn’t gutted the program’s coaching continuity.

“To have Todd McIntyre, my brother (Jim), (Tinlin) and Ken Hood, guys who have been here a long time, we have some chemistry already and we all have the same vision,” Morgan said. “We don’t want to see this program falter. We want to be successful and we want to do what’s right for South Tahoe football.”

Players can still join the Vikings by attending the 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3:30-5:30 p.m. daily double workouts. Conditioning continues Friday and Saturday before players put on pads beginning Monday.

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